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October 30, 2008    

House prices down almost 15%

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by Gill Montia
House prices down almost 15%

Nationwide has published its latest house price survey showing the cost of the average UK home falling again, in October, to £158,872.

The monthly loss stood at 1.4%, taking the annual decline to 14.6%, or £27,172, in terms of the average house price.

The figures compare with a September monthly fall of 1.7% and an annual fall of 12.4%, according to Nationwide.

House prices have now been tumbling for 12 consecutive months and the building society points out that the market has also suffered its biggest decline in sales for 34 years.

Earlier this month, HM Revenue & Customs reported a 53% annual decline in completed transactions in September, to a mere 59,000.

Many vendors remain resistant to the downturn; property website Rightmove recently reported that asking prices in England and Wales rose by 1% in the four weeks to 11th October.

Meanwhile, the market is starved of first-time buyers who are either waiting for prices to bottom out or cannot secure a mortgage.

Nationwide’s chief economist, Fionnuala Earley, comments that fears of a recession and instability in financial markets will hinder the pace of any recovery.

However, she does expect action by central banks to stabilise the financial markets and for interest rates to continue to be cut sharply.

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